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"Storing Qi, I create, maximize, and sustain an inner reserve of potential to optimize my health, life, and being." Roger Jahnke, Phase 7 Mind-focus Affirmation from The Healing Promise of Qi.

We've arrived at Phase 7, and at first glance, it looks very much like Phase 6, "Conserve Qi." But Phase 7's the one mind-focus affirmation that begins with I create, which is my primary purpose in going through these phases here with you: Using Qi to increase our creativity. And unlike Conserving Qi, in this phase we are actively creating and maximizing this "reserve of potential." I love that abstract image, which I can make concrete by seeing in my mind a huge reservoir being filled with each and every conscious breath and qigong posture or movement.

It's comforting to know I can draw upon a "reserve of potential" whenever I want to create something new. I also love how Jahnke prioritizes health among the three optimizations. For "If you have your health, you have everything."

When I was first memorizing the 10 phases, in order to keep Phase 7 in my mind, I created an image of a giant 7 on the door of our Nibancho garbage room, and instead of garbage, the door opens to a retail store, and the store is full, with "potential," and the store magically turns into a reservoir, just like the one I remember near my childhood home, on the way to Santa Cruz. This reservoir of potential is always there; all I need to do is to take a dip!

For most people I've worked with over the years who have wanted to increase their creativity, the first step is to acknowledge that they indeed are creative. If you're wondering yourself, think back to when you created something, anything. It could be a meal you cooked up, a new exercise routine, a new profile for a social networking app. Every new thing you've done is a creation; it took creativity. And you drew from this "inner reservoir of potential" to create it, whether consciously or unconsciously. With Phase 7 of Qigong mastery, we have a way to consciously keep filling that reservoir.

It's funny. When I shared previously how my father had fed me the line, "You have no imagination," I received a few comments back, one saying how "impossible it would be for Andrew Silberman to not be creative." But it really did take a couple decades before I considered myself creative, and even then, it took a few years of songwriting before I developed the confidence to just let the lyrics flow:

Take a look while you're passing by

Spend some time by the riverside

Skipping stones, feel the flow

You never know, just let 'em fly

(That's a verse from Moonshots' Right Before You Now)

And I had been writing articles for 5 years before I even thought of non-fiction writing as a creative endeavor. That's part of the reason I never attended "creative writing" workshops. I didn't think I was creative. But all writing is creative writing, or at least all writing can be creative writing.

And it's so much easier when you know you have an unlimited reserve of potential.

The more I think of these mind-focus affirmations, the more clearly I perceive their interconnectedness. The most important thing to do is focus on whichever of the affirmations or phases that I want to create more of, from Phase 1's discovery to Phase 10's transmitting. Coming up next, one of the most powerful phases of all: Transforming Qi. Until then, enjoy the store; after all, you're creating it!

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